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General Microbiology (Micr300) Lecture 4 Nutrition and Growth (Text Chapters: 5.1-5.3; 6.1; 6.4-6.8; 6.10-6.15)

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Presentation on theme: "General Microbiology (Micr300) Lecture 4 Nutrition and Growth (Text Chapters: 5.1-5.3; 6.1; 6.4-6.8; 6.10-6.15)"— Presentation transcript:

1 General Microbiology (Micr300) Lecture 4 Nutrition and Growth (Text Chapters: 5.1-5.3; 6.1; 6.4-6.8; 6.10-6.15)

2 Microbial Nutrition The hundreds of chemical compounds present inside a living cell are formed from nutrients. Elements required in fairly large amounts are called macronutrients (Table 5.1), whereas metals and organic compounds needed in very small amounts are called micronutrients (Table 5.2) and growth factors (Table 5.3), respectively.


4 Macronutrients Some prokaryotes are autotrophs, able to build all of their cellular structures from carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is important in proteins, nucleic acids, and several other cell constituents. Iron plays a major role in cellular respiration, being a key component of cytochromes and iron-sulfur proteins involved in electron transport. To obtain iron from various insoluble minerals, cells produce agents called siderophores that bind iron and transport it into the cell.



7 Culture Media Culture media supply the nutritional needs of microorganisms and can be either chemically defined (defined medium) or undefined (complex medium). Selective, differential, and enriched are terms that describe media used for the isolation of particular species or for comparative studies of microorganisms.

8 Culture Media Culture media are sometimes prepared in a semisolid form by the addition of a gelling agent to liquid media. Such solid culture media immobilize cells, allowing them to grow and form visible, isolated masses called colonies.

9 Culturing of Microorganisms Microorganisms can be grown in the laboratory in culture media containing the nutrients they require. Successful cultivation and maintenance of pure cultures of microorganisms can be done only if aseptic technique is practiced to prevent contamination by other microorganisms.

10 Cell Growth and Binary Fission Microbial growth involves an increase in the number of cells. Growth of most microorganisms occurs by the process of binary fission (Figure 6.1). Microbial populations show a characteristic type of growth pattern called exponential growth, which is best seen by plotting the number of cells over time on a semilogarithmic graph (Figure 6.6).



13 Growth Curve Microorganisms show a characteristic growth pattern (Figure 6.8) when inoculated into a fresh culture medium.

14 Growth Curve There is usually a lag phase, then exponential growth commences. As essential nutrients are depleted or toxic products build up, growth ceases, and the population enters the stationary phase. If incubation continues, cells may begin to die (the death phase).

15 Measuring Microbial Growth Growth is measured by the change in the number of cells over time. Cell counts done microscopically (Figure 6.9) measure the total number of cells in a population, whereas viable cell counts (plate counts) (Figures 6.10, 6.11) measure only the living, reproducing population.




19 Indirect Measurement: turbidity Turbidity measurements are an indirect but very rapid and useful method of measuring microbial growth (Figure 6.12). However, to relate a direct cell count to a turbidity value, a standard curve must first be established.


21 microplate High throughput Measuring of cell growth

22 Environmental Effects on Growth Temperature pH Osmotic pressure Oxygen classes

23 Temperature Temperature is a major environmental factor controlling microbial growth. The cardinal temperatures are the minimum, optimum, and maximum temperatures at which each organism grows (Figure 6.16). Microorganisms can be grouped by the temperature ranges they require (Figure 6.17).




27 pH The acidity or alkalinity of an environment can greatly affect microbial growth. Figure 6.22 shows the pH scale. Some organisms have evolved to grow best at low or high pH, but most organisms grow best between pH 6 and 8. The internal pH of a cell must stay relatively close to neutral even though the external pH is highly acidic or basic. Organisms that grow best at low pH are called acidophiles; those that grow best at high pH are called alkaliphiles.


29 Osmotic Effect Water availability is generally expressed in physical terms such as water activity Water activity is the ratio of the vapor pressure of the air in equilibrium with a substance or solution to the vapor pressure of pure water. Table 6.2 shows the water activity (a w ) of several substances.


31 Osmotic Effect Some microorganisms (halophiles) have evolved to grow best at reduced water potential, and some (extreme halophiles) even require high levels of salts for growth. Halotolerant organisms can tolerate some reduction in the water activity of their environment but generally grow best in the absence of the added solute (Figure 6.23). Xerophiles are able to grow in very dry environments.


33 Oxygen Table 6.4 shows the relationships of some microorganisms to oxygen. Aerobes require oxygen to live, whereas anaerobes do not and may even be killed by oxygen. Facultative organisms can live with or without oxygen. Aerotolerant anaerobes can tolerate oxygen and grow in its presence even though they cannot use it.


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